News Release

Four Additional Michigan Workers File State Charges Alleging Unions' Right to Work Law Violations

Michigan union officials stonewall workers' attempts to refrain from dues payments

Detroit, MI (March 21, 2014) – Four additional Michigan public employees from throughout the state have filed state charges against unions for violating their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, three public school employees, Lindsey Bentley of Muskegan, Alphia Snyder of Battle Creek, and Mary Derks of Whitehall, and Tina House, a Lapeer County employee, each filed state charges last week with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) in Detroit.

The three public school employees filed the charges against the Michigan Education Association (MEA) union because MEA union officials refuse to allow these workers to exercise their right under Michigan's Right to Work law to refrain from union dues payments. Instead of complying with the workers' requests to respect their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law, MEA union officials told them that they would have to wait for a union-designated "window period" of August 1 through August 31 before they could resign union membership and refrain from union dues payments.

House was also denied her right to refrain from union dues payments after informing the Teamster Local 214 union that she was exercising her right under Michigan's Right to Work law. Teamster Local 214 union officials told House that she would have to wait for a union-designated "window period" in July 2014 before she could revoke her dues deduction authorization and opt out of union dues.

Under Michigan's Right to Work law, contracts entered into after the law went into effect must respect workers' right to refrain from the payment of any union dues or fees. The workers point out in their charges that Michigan's Right to Work law protects their unequivocal right to refrain from union membership at any time.

"Across the state, union officials are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Foundation staff attorneys are assisting workers throughout the state whose rights under Michigan's Right to Work law are being denied by unscrupulous union officials."

In similar cases across Michigan, Foundation staff attorneys have already assisted five other public-sector workers who filed charges with the MERC and two private-sector workers who filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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